I got my own sewing machine in December 2012. Prior to that, I either used my mother’s machine or (while I was in college and law school and only rarely near her machine) sewed things by hand. The hand-sewing projects I’m most proud of, which will probably never get their own blog posts, are a pair of hand-quilted and hand-bound hot pads (whew — thimbles are made for hand-quilting Insul-Bright), a slipcover for what was at the time the cheapest futon at Ikea, and the installation of a new zipper on my backpack. In retrospect, these projects are definitely in an extremely practical vein.
When I got my own machine, things changed dramatically. It is a lot faster to sew with a machine than without. This made sewing gifts much more attractive, and I started sewing quilts and blankets for members of my family’s next generation. In part because I had missed making gifts for many of the older members of that generation during the pre-sewing machine era, I typically also included presents for the older siblings. (The other reason is that I’m an elder sibling, and I think becoming one is something to celebrate.) One early project in that vein is also one of the first I posted on this blog. Another such project, completed about three years ago, is finally getting a blog post of its own today.
I pieced the front of this quilt using scraps of varying age from my mother’s fabric stash (purchased in the 70s, 80s, and 90s). The fabrics included on the front are a red fabric with small regular polka dots; a solid cobalt poplin; a yellow fabric with a floral print in green, red, and blue; a solid lime green midweight; a cobalt gingham; and a solid yellow textured fabric. The green and both of the yellows were already cut into approximately four-inch squares, so I made an all-over pattern of diagonal strips out of squares. I repeated the fabrics, in order, two and half times, to get from the bottom left of the quilt to the upper right.
I got a very bright solid yellow cotton at Sewfisticated Fabrics in Somerville, MA, for the back. I quilted it diagonal lines going through the center of every other diagonal line of squares. I bound it with store-bought cobalt blue binding.
In this case, I made playdough for the new big sister, using a really excellent recipe that was distributed years ago at the Children’s Festival in Southern Oregon. I will have to post the recipe another time.
Also, at Inder’s suggestion (thanks!) I’m setting up my blog to be followable on Bloglovin: